DIY felt stocking tutorial No. 1 from Walnut Animal Society
Our friend Lauren (proprietress of Walnut Animal Society) is a beautiful seamstress and so incredibly skilled in all things crafting and sewing machine-related. We asked her to share a stocking tutorial with you all this year and big surprise – she made two! We’ll let her explain the rest of her process and tutorial below. Check back later today for the second tutorial too!
Since the newest member of our family is now old enough to get his own stocking, it was time for me to make the kids each a stocking we’ll use every year. The inspiration for the project came the vintage Christmas decor we have around our house this season. Some of my favorite decorations are bottle brush trees and Putz houses. After a bit of research on vintage Christmas stockings, I came up with a tutorial using wool felt.
There is nothing quite like working with beautiful 100% wool felt. The crisp cuts, pretty colors, and soft feel cannot compare to other types of felt. For this project I chose 100% wool felt from Purl Soho and from A Child’s Dream Come True. If you find yourself shopping at a local craft store for supplies, look for felt-by-the-yard that has a high percentage of wool in it.
This project does require a sewing machine. Topstitching the felt makes it look finished and neat, and helps it hold up over time. You’ll need to know how to lower your needle and raise the presser foot so you can turn your project as you are topstitching. If you’d like, you can eliminate the topstitching and simply glue the pieces into place, but you’ll still need to sew the stocking front and back together (which you can do by hand if you’d like).
I’ve created a tutorial for the Snowy Hills Stocking and the Holly Stocking. The first requires a good bit more cutting and lining up of all your felt. The second is basically a front and a back stocking, stitched together with leaves and yarn pom-poms. (You can use felt circles if you don’t want to make pom-poms.)
After you decide on your project and get your felt, try to set aside one night to do all of your cutting. This is the most tedious part, but once you’re finished the project will come together quickly.
Snowy Hills Stocking
1. Gather your supplies and print your templates. Your templates have a 1″ scale on them to be sure you printed them at 100%. You can download the PDF with all templates here.
Purl Soho 18×18″ 1mm Felt, one sheet of each:
A Child’s Dream Come True 12×8″ 1mm Holland Wool Felt, one sheet of each:
Note: the quality from both places is excellent, so if you find all the colors you need from one place, you don’t need to order from both. A Child’s Dream Come True sells 8×12″ sheets as well as 18×18″ and various other sizes.
Templates (print on card stock if you have it, which is easier to trace around)
Small scissors with sharp tip
Ruler, rotary cutter, mat (helpful but not required)
Fine point Sharpie or ballpoint pen
Coordinating thread to match your felt colors
Needle with large eye (helpful but not required)
Optional: yarn and pom-pom maker, ric-rac for stocking loop
2. Cut out templates. Tape the templates together for the Stocking Back. Do not tape together the templates for the Stocking Front.
3. On your computer, open Word or Pages. Type in the names you want on your stocking. I chose Futura font, in bold, size 165pt. The key is that you need the name to fit within 7.5×2.75 inches, keeping in mind that letters like Y and J hang lower.
4. Print the names out. Hold the printed names next to the Stocking Cuff template to be sure the names will fit. When size is correct, cut out each letter carefully. (Note: I altered the Stocking Cuff pattern a bit after completing this tutorial, so my stocking cuffs will look different than yours will.)
5. Once all your templates are cut out of paper, it’s time to start tracing them onto felt. I use a fine point Sharpie to trace my templates onto felt, but a ballpoint pen will work as well. Tip: be sure to put your templates face down onto the felt. That way, you are putting Sharpie/pen on what will be the BACK of your felt pieces, and you will not have to worry about Sharpie lines showing on the front of your stocking. This is especially important to remember on the letters. After they’re all traced, cut out felt shapes. For the Stocking Cuff, I used the rotary cutter, ruler, and mat to make the lines extra straight.
Soft White felt – part A of Stocking Front
White felt – parts B, C, D, E of Stocking Front, plus Stocking Back
Light green – 4 Large Trees, plus Letters
Dark green – 6 Small Trees
Beige – 1 Church, 1 Tall House
Light gray – 1 Small House
Dark gray – 1 Small House
Red – 1 Small House, plus 2 Stocking Cuff
6. Glue pieces into place. Now that all your felt pieces are cut out, you can begin gluing the pieces into place. Be sure to glue with Sharpie side down.
Start with the Snowy Hills front. To accurately glue these pieces, I laid the Stocking Back on the table, then began by lining up each hill so you can glue the overlaps correctly. Each piece overlaps the piece above it. Use glue sparingly; thin lines or small dots will be just fine, since you’ll be stitching these into place later. Just try hard not to get glue on the front of the stocking, or glue the front pieces to the Stocking Back by accident.
If you glue all your hills together to form the Stocking Front and they don’t match up to the Stocking Back perfectly, this is ok–you’ll be trimming the edges with pinking shears in the final step.
Once the hills are dried in place (15 minutes), topstitch with white thread.
7. Letters. While the hills are drying, you can arrange your letters on the Stocking Cuff, and glue into place. Let those dry and then topstitch. The key with the letters is dropping your needle often (almost every 2-3 stitches) to get around tight curves and corners. I always topstitch with the work to the left of the needle, and the edge of the object on the right. (See photo.)
8. Arrange your houses and trees onto the snowy hills to get them just right, then glue into place, making sure to leave room for .25″ seam allowance around outside of stocking. Let dry. Top stitch with coordinating thread. If you’d like, add doors or windows by topstitching as you go along the edge of the house. I tried to count stitches so that they’d be relatively centered and even. You can skip the doors and it will still look great.
9. Form stocking loop. Cut a 4.5″ strip of ric-rac. (You can also use ribbon or thick string. Or, to make a loop out of felt, cut a felt strip 4.5″ x .75″, fold in half lengthwise and stitch up the side.)
10. Pin stocking loop to Stocking Cuff at left edge, making sure to leave room for .25″ seam allowance at left and top edges. Stitch stocking cuff with name to Stocking Front using .25″ seam allowance. Pay close attention: it’s not right sides together like normal sewing! You need your Stocking Front facing out, and your name Stocking Cuff facing in, so that the cuff folds down on top of Stocking Front. Stitch blank stocking cuff to Stocking Back. Press open seams.
11. Stitch Stocking Front to Stocking Back, right sides out. I started at the cuff, using red thread, and stopped at the white felt. I changed thread to white, and started sewing at the toe of the stocking and down one side, stopping at the cuff. I cut my thread, then went back to the toe, and sewed down the other side, being careful to line up the thread where I began. By sewing the same direction down both sides, you’ll help ensure your stocking doesn’t pull awkwardly in one direction, causing it not to line up to the Stocking Back.
12. Trim the edges. Very carefully, trim the entire outside edge of the stocking and cuff with pinking shears, being sure not to cut into your seam–about 1/8″ in. Fold down cuff.
So super cute, right? Now to try to squeeze it in before Christmas! Download the PDF with all templates here.
We’ll have the tutorial for Arlo’s pom pom holly stocking later today. See ya then.
Project, concept, and photography by Lauren Bradshaw of Walnut Animal Society.